shelf

noun
\ ˈshelf \
plural shelves\ ˈshelvz \

Definition of shelf 

1a : a thin flat usually long and narrow piece of material (such as wood) fastened horizontally (as on a wall) at a distance from the floor to hold objects
b : one of several similar pieces in a closet, bookcase, or similar structure
c : the contents of a shelf the author of a shelf of best sellers
2 : something resembling a shelf in form or position: such as
a : a sandbank or ledge of rocks usually partially submerged
b : a flat projecting layer of rock
c : the submerged gradually sloping border of a continent or island : continental shelf
off the shelf
: available from stock : not made to order off the shelf equipment
on the shelf
: in a state of inactivity or uselessness

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Other Words from shelf

shelfful \ ˈshelf-​ˌfu̇l \ noun
shelflike \ ˈshelf-​ˌlīk \ adjective

Examples of shelf in a Sentence

Put the vase on the shelf. the top shelf of the kitchen cabinet Will you get that book down off the shelf? We don't have much shelf space.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Ars staffers have their roster of favorite subscriptions to cycle through whether hopping a train, killing time on a flight, or dusting our shelves of vinyl miniature figurines. Ars Staff, Ars Technica, "A few of our favorite podcasts in 2018, from new to new-to-us," 23 Dec. 2018 Retailers have also been alerted to the recall and instructed to remove the products from their shelves and put up notices about the recall. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "Some U by Kotex Tampons Have Been Recalled for Unraveling Inside the Body," 12 Dec. 2018 The recent tension marks the latest chapter in what is an often-tumultuous relationship between Amazon and the brands that stock its digital shelves. Jason Del Rey, Recode, "An Amazon revolt could be brewing as the tech giant exerts more control over brands," 29 Nov. 2018 The store has stocked its shelves with products from the likes of Juvia's Place, Beauty Bakerie, and Kylie Cosmetics. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Ulta Stores Now Sell Two Eye Shadow Palettes From Storybook Cosmetics," 27 Nov. 2018 Living Proof's dry scalp treatment is so darn good, Sephora couldn't wait to stock its shelves with the lab samples. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "The 11 Best Scrubs and Treatments for Dry, Itchy Scalps," 12 Oct. 2018 Meaning, there's a whole lot of money to be had in the race for all of our top shelves. Lindsay Schallon, Glamour, "Kylie Jenner Skin Care Products Could Soon Be on Their Way," 3 Oct. 2018 Select Walmart stores have something special gracing their shelves this summer. Essence.com, "This Black-Owned Water Company Is Gaining Global Attention," 11 July 2018 This fall, Louis Vuitton will also have one on its shelves. Diana Tsui, The Cut, "Bolo Ties and Neck Wallets," 10 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shelf.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of shelf

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for shelf

Middle English, probably from Old English scylfe; akin to Old Norse hlīthskjalf Odin's seat

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Statistics for shelf

Last Updated

12 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for shelf

The first known use of shelf was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for shelf

shelf

noun

English Language Learners Definition of shelf

: a flat board which is attached to a wall, frame, etc., and on which objects can be placed

geology : a flat area of rock, sand, etc., especially underwater

shelf

noun
\ ˈshelf \
plural shelves\ ˈshelvz \

Kids Definition of shelf

1 : a flat piece (as of wood or metal) set above a floor (as on a wall or in a bookcase) to hold things
2 : a flat area (as of rock)

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More from Merriam-Webster on shelf

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shelf

Spanish Central: Translation of shelf

Nglish: Translation of shelf for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shelf for Arabic Speakers

Comments on shelf

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